Faculty Directory

Clemencia Rojas

Clemencia Rojas

Assistant Professor

Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences

(TPLP)-AFLS-Plant Pathology

Phone: 479-575-3214

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Plant pathogens affect the availability of food and feedstock needed to support the demands of a growing human population.  Plant diseases are ultimately determined by the interactions between plants (hosts) and a given pathogen, which are very specific and, mediated by the genetic makeup of both the plant and the pathogen.  Research in my lab focuses on identifying plant genes conferring broad resistance against bacterial pathogens.  Using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana in conjunction with tools from genetics, molecular and cell biology, we are working to decipher how those genes function in the plant, how they work in the presence of a bacterial pathogen and how their function is integrated with known signal transduction cascades.  In parallel, we also investigate how the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae is able to cause disease in a wide range of crops, specifically investigating bacterial virulence factors and how do they determine host specificity.  We are also investigating the bacterial pathogen Burkholderia glumae and Burkholderia gladioli, an emerging pathogen, causing bacterial panicle blight in rice.  We are discovering genes involved in Burkholderia pathogenicity analyzing how they contribute to the different stages in the pathogen's life cycle.

Use courses to develop critical thinking skills in students and to train them in scientific endeavors.

PLPA 3004- Principles of Plant Pathology

PLPA 6503 - Phytobacteriology

PLPA 4123/5123- Bacterial lifestyles

B.S. Microbiology, Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia)

M.S. Genetics, Purdue University

Ph.D. Plant Pathology, Cornell University

Singh, R., Rojas, C.M.* (2018). Dissecting the functional domains of the Arabidopsis thaliana nonhost resistance 2B (AtNHR2B) protein. Plant Signaling and Behavior. 13 (11): e1530024. doi: 10.1080/15592324.2018.1530024.

Singh, R., Lee, S., Ortega, L., Ramu, V. S., Senthil-Kumar, M., Blancaflor, E. B., Rojas, C. M. *, Mysore, K. S. (2018). Two chloroplast-localized proteins: AtNHR2A and AtNHR2B, contribute to callose deposition during nonhost disease resistance in Arabidopsis. Molecular Plant Microbe interactions. 31:1280-1290. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-04-18-0094-R.  Impact factor: 3.588

Lee, S., Rojas, C. M., Oh, S., Kang, M., Choudhury, S. R., Lee, H. K., Allen, R.D., Pandey, S., and Mysore, K. S. (2018). Nucleolar GTP-Binding Protein 1-2 (NOG1-2) Interacts with jasmonate-ZIM domain protein 9 (JAZ9) to regulate stomatal aperture during plant immunity. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19, 1992; doi:10.3390/ijms19071922. Impact factor: 3.687

Kaundal, A., Ramu, V. S., Oh, S., Lee, S.H., Pant, B., Lee, H.K., Rojas, C. M., Senthil-Kumar, M., Mysore, K. S. (2017). General control non-repressible-4 (GCN4) degrades 14-3-3 and RIN4 complex to regulate stomatal aperture with implications on nonhost disease resistance and drought tolerance. The Plant Cell. 29: 2233-2248. Impact factor: 8.228

Lee, S., S., Senthil-Kumar, M., Kang, M., Rojas, C. M., Tang, Y., Oh, S., Choudhury, S. R., Lee, H. K., Ishiga, Y., Allen, R., Pandey, S., and Mysore, K. S. (2017).The small GTPase, Nucleolar GTP-binding protein 1 (NOG1), has a novel role in nonhost resistance and stomatal innate immunity. Scientific Reports. 7 (1): 9260. Impact factor: 4.122

Rojas, C. M., Senthil-Kumar, M., Tzin, V., and Mysore, K. S. (2014). Regulation of primary plant metabolism during plant-pathogen interactions and its contribution to plant defense. Frontiers in Plant Science, 5:17. Impact factor: 3.677

Lee, S., Rojas, C. M., Ishiga, Y., Pandey, S., and Mysore, K. S. Arabidopsis (2013). Arabidopsis heterotrimeric G-proteins play a critical role in host and nonhost resistance against Pseudomonas syringae pathogens. PLoS One. 8(12):e82445. Impact factor: 2.766

Rojas, C. M., and Mysore, K. S. (2012). Glycolate oxidase is an alternative source of H2O2 production during plant defense responses and functions independently from NADPH oxidase. Plant Signaling and behavior. July; 7 (7): 1-4.

Kaundal, A., Rojas, C. M., Mysore, K. S. Measurement of NADPH oxidase activity in plants. Bio-protocol. 2012. September.

Kaundal, A., Rojas, C. M., Mysore, K. S. Glycolate oxidase activity in plants. Bio-protocol. 2012. September.

Anand, A., Rojas C. M., Tang, Y., and Mysore K. S. (2012). Several components of SKP1/Culin/F-box E3 ubiquitin ligase complex and associated factors play a critical role in Agrobacterium-mediated plant transformation. New Phytologist. 195 (1): 203-216. Impact factor: 7.433

Rojas, C. M., Senthil-Kumar, M., Wang, K., Ryu, C. M., Kaundal, A., and. Mysore, K. S. (2012). Glycolate oxidase plays a major role during nonhost resistance responses by modulating ROS- mediated signal transduction pathways. The Plant Cell. 24:336-352. Impact factor: 8.228

Tadege, M., Lin, H., Bedair, M., Berbel, A., Wen, J., Rojas, C. M., Niu, L., Tang, Y., Sumner, L., Ratet, P., McHale, N. A., Madueño, F., Mysore, K. S. (2011). STENOFOLIA regulates blade outgrowth and leaf vascular patterning in Medicago truncatula and Nicotiana sylvestris. The Plant Cell. 23: 2125-2142. Impact factor: 8.228

Yap, M. N., Rojas, C. M., Yang, C. H., and Charkowski, A. O. (2006). Harpin mediates cell aggregation in Erwinia chrysanthemi 3937. Journal of Bacteriology. 188(6):2280-2284. Impact factor: 3.219

Rojas, C. M., Ham, J. H., Schechter, L. M., Kim, J. F., Beer, S. V., and Collmer, A. (2004). The Erwinia chrysanthemi EC16 hrp/hrc gene cluster encodes an active Hrp type III secretion system that is flanked by virulence genes functionally unrelated to the Hrp system. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions. 17(6): 644-653. Impact factor: 3.588

Ham, J. H., Cui Y., Alfano, J. R., Rodriguez-Palenzuela, P., Rojas, C. M., Chatterjee, A. K., and Collmer, A. (2004). Differential expression and contribution to virulence of hrpN, pelL, pelE, and the cloning and mutagenesis of ahlI, the luxI homolog, in Erwinia chrysanthemi EC16. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions. 17(2):184-94. Impact factor: 3.588

Deng, W. L., Rehm, A., Charkowski, A., Rojas, C. M., and Collmer, A. (2003). Isolation and characterization of the exchangeable effector loci from different Pseudomonas syringae pathovars with emphasis on P. syringae pv. syringae B728a. Journal of Bacteriology. 185(8):2592-2602. Impact factor: 3.219

Rojas, C. M., Ham, J. H., Deng, W. L., Doyle, J. J., and Collmer, A.(2002).  HecA is a founding member of a class of adhesins in plant pathogenic bacteria and contributes to attachment, autoagglutination and virulence of Erwinia chrysanthemi. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A. 99(20):13142-7. Impact factor: 9.504


Editorial Board member of Scientific Reports

Travel Grant to attend the Annual meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Montreal, Canada. July 14-18, 2018. Faculty Development. University of Arkansas.

Under-represented minorities in US Science Award to attend the International Conference in Arabidopsis Research (ICAR) 2018. The North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee (NAASC). June 2018.

Golden Tusk Award. University of Arkansas. Division of Student Affairs. 2017

Faculty Gold Medal. University of Arkansas. Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. 2017

Outstanding Mentor. University of Arkansas. Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. 2017